Final day

Having faced difficult games and scared some top teams but with no results, my Hampstead U15s have been guaranteed their Division 2 status following a 3-2 win away at Headstone Manor A. It was one of the games where we actually got a result for our eternal hard work and determination.

It leaves me going into today’s game at home against Eagles United with a feeling of slight relaxation. However, don’t think for a second that that translates as complacency.

There are teams, even in youth leagues, that will stop at nothing to get what they want. Eagles United is one of those teams. In the reverse fixture earlier this season, Hampstead lost 1-0, due to Eagles United being able to get on the side of the referee. This meant that despite us throwing the kitchen sink at them with penalty shouts all through the match, no penalties were given and all ong balls were given as offside.

The irony is the fact that if Eagles United win today, they will be promoted.

There is a side to me that says: Go ahead and win (despite the fact we are playing the last game of the season at home) because next season I don’t want to be playing against a bunch of nutters (for want of a better word) that will foul any opposition player they see as a threat next season. But then, I want revenge against this side. That could be winning against them today, or win by cheating (against ethics, but gives me personal satisfaction). That would mean we face them some time next season.

Next season, we are classed as U16s. The referee is no longer an excuse for losing matches if we play well. The opposition ARE GOING to be stronger. They ARE GOING to cheat. They ARE GOING to get angry and throw some punches if they get frustrated (actually, that’s a good thing!)

But still, we need to become stronger both mentally as well as physically in order to deal with it. We need to focus on OUR game rather than just trying to counteract the opposition or playing dirty to a dirty tactic. That will get us nowhere, apart from the trapdoor.

The iPad (a.k.a. The God)

So I was sitting in the launderette embracing my first experience of using the iPad. Something came over me so I typed these words. Apologies for the numerous grammatical errors:

this is an iPad tablet. it can be used as a potential alternative for a usual computer/laptop (and unlike an iPhone or iPod, also allows you to type much faster)!

you can install many apps on an iPad, just like an iPhone or iPod. however, there is one big advantage that the iPad possesses, unlike the iPhone or iPod.

that is that it can be used effectively as an educational resource, and is a very attractive alternative to a boring computer you see in a typical IT room.

with the vision, prediction and witness of new and advancing technologies in every aspect of our society, before long the iPad will become increasingly prominent in a child’s learning. it will provide excitement and enthusiasm. on top of that, it can also provide the edge that can help a student, and a school, to get results.

currently, the increase in technology is a bit to much for OFSTED. as well as the unnecessary security concern (in terms of moving all of a school’s files to ‘The Cloud’), there is a distinct problem with cost (obviously, not everybody in today’s world can just go into a shop and purchase an iPad up front).

However, it is also due to OFSTED’s obsession with getting results from exams, coursework, and such like. and actually, the head people at OFSTED are sitting in their ‘Ivory Tower’ as it were, looking at figures only. they don’t care about the student progressing in their learning and how they are feeling about it: just about their levels/grades on their report.

In my opinion, this is why some students, especially in top grammar schools,and to an extent, independent schools, are falling by the wayside as it were, not just on their grades/progress, but also their behaviour and attitude. the syllabus that they are on is not engaging them enough, we need teachers to bring back their passion for learning. it’s not to say they’re not intelligent, but because there’s nothing catching their attention.

this is where the iPad comes in. the iPad is able to provide that extra element of enjoyment, even in the most linear, boring subjects that students will inevitably sleep through. it is up to the school and the authorities and ultimately the government to provide that extra element of enjoyment, and engagement, so that the students can emerge with a positive attitude, so that they can get the results they are capable of achieving. that is what education is all about in my opinion, based on the culture I have experienced within the schooling system.

That’s it. Till next time!

Sport Relief and catch-up

I know this is incredibly belated, but unfortunately, I feel it is better to speak my mind, so I am moving more to vLogging. Having said that, don’t even think about this account becoming defunct. There will still be posts on here, even if it means doubling my workload (at the tender age of 15, workload is increasing).

Anyway, the big news is I’m going on an overnight walk (12 hours) in the countryside with a few schoolmates for Sport Relief. If you want to sponsor me, then comment your full name, your postcode and the amount you want to donate. I can then add this to my donation sheet. SORRY IT’S SHORT NOTICE, BUT YOU WILL NEED TO HAVE HAD THE MONEY PAID IN BY MONDAY.

Thank you all that do donate.

On the subject of vLogging, I am hoping to join one of my mate’s channels: Dyanmic2k12. Look out for it on YouTube!

Andre Villas Gonas=Roman Abramovich’s Hesitation

Chelsea have got money to spend, ain’t they?

The cool, calm, collected and very formally-speaking 33 year-old Andre Villas Boas has come under the Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich’s firing finger. He is the eighth firing in the Abramovich era, and honestly, I am starting to lose patience with him.

As we all know, Abramovich will die for the moment of the Holy Grail (Champions League Cup) placed in a cast, on the top shelf, of his wall cabinet. Logic proves to us that we would not continually fire then hire many top-level managers if he didn’t want to see the name of his great club engraved on it.

Let me take you to the present day: next match for Chelsea is away at Birmingham in the FA Cup 5th round. Proceeding that is an attempt (successful or not) to overturn a 3-1 deficit in the Champions League against Napoli. (Easier said than done.)

As we all know, Chelsea’s run of form has not been good since December. Didn’t the penny drop by the end of January that tension was rising and the press was closing in on its next unfortunate piece of photographic meat? If you’re gonna string him along, at least see if he’s gonna achieve what you want him to do, and that is progress through, and perhaps win, the UEFA Champions League? If Chelsea don’t get through against Napoli, then fire him.

BUT NO, YOU HAD TO SEND HIM AWAY WITH A NEWLY-TARNISHED CV, 2 WEEKS BEFORE THAT CRUCIAL MATCH WITH THAT TEAM!!

I see this as a visual metaphor – A goalkeeper is on his six-yard line. A long ball is played through the middle; keeper hesitates to come out, but comes out too late. Striker has time to pick his spot and score in the back of the net. Why didn’t you just come out as soon as the ball was played, or just let him try and score past you, hoping that a fantastic save would spare you?

Key message, in anything you do – BE DECISIVE

Loss of an Italian=Banquet for the cameras

Now, some people think I’m mad in what I say. Now, if you would kindly refer to my second post, dated 22nd December 2011. I spoke about the media ready to pounce on John Terry after he was charged with racism, and the meal (i.e. how long they could get the story to last) would last until the court hearing. My prediction was right, just. Yep, being the true Italian that he is, Fabio Capello resigned in spate at the FA’s decision to strip John Terry (again) as England captain.

So, it turns out Capello himself “fed the five-thousand” that were previously hiding in bins trying to eat the telephones of famous celebrities and then digest the information. (John Terry is the fish – and the two slices of bread – in this visual metaphor.) I feel though that the FA has to take some responsibility for this. In my controversial, but logical belief that a person is innocent until found guilty, what is John Terry being sacked for?

However, I think the media have “bitten off more than they can chew”. (Visual metaphor over)

This is because in my view, they’re backing Harry Redknapp, the person that was in court no more than a week ago over tax evasion (or something like that). I hope for him to be the England manager as well, but the U-turn that was made by the media was so big that it can be seen from space!! Doesn’t make them look good, does it? It just goes to show that coverage does work, but I don’t want the story repeatedly shoved down my throat as if my digestive tract isn’t working, every time the news comes on!

To the media I say: Thank you for the information you provided first time. The factual summary of events you’ve given me is enough to form my own emotional opinion. I DON’T NEED ANY MORE! All I feel you’re doing now is trying to make a story out of something that is not worthwhile. Why don’t you just give a summary of what happened on the day that you’re presenting the news on, and then go home again? (Not that I’m giving you lot ideas, but just don’t use any exaggeration; we’ve heard the story already.) It doesn’t benefit us as viewers of the news, and it also doesn’t help the people in the spotlight.

This is your next goal. You’ve quitted prostitution (I think). Let’s see if you can now lay off media food when you’ve had enough, and not vomit when you’ve had too much.

Duke of Edinburgh Award

Trust me, it’s even better than the person it’s named after!!

Last year, I achieved my Bronze Award. It’s incredibly rewarding to feel that I had achieved a lot in terms of helping people and developing my skills as a person. In this article I’m gonna use the term “DofE” instead of Duke Of Edinburgh.

There are 3 sections to the DofE award. Actually, there are 4, but you have to complete 3 in order to do the fourth. The 3 sections are Volunteering, Skill and Physical.

Volunteering is self-explanatory. You may think it’s going to be incredibly boring, especially being a teenager which is what you will be when you start it (unless you start really late). In the end, you are gonna wish you did it more often. That is one of the main points of the DofE award; it’s designed so you can get something fulfilling out of it, rather than a badge and a chance to shake hands with HRRH himself. You can help out at after-school clubs, old-people’s homes, even your local sports club.

The skill section is where you learn a new skill. Or developing and improving it. One of the most common is learning to play a tactical game, like chess, or any card game. You can also be learning an instrument. You may discover some hidden talents!

The physical section is where you do something active. In my case, it’s playing football for my team. After all, you have to be physically (kind of), but more importantly mentally able to embark and complete your expedition.

You can complete all of these sections simultaneously because otherwise it gets too boring waiting for the expedition (4th section)) to arrive, especially as you’ll be doing these for longer periods of time as you do your Silver and Gold awards.

The expedition is the fun part. You should be thinking by this stage, ‘let’s do this and get our badges’, but also, the expedition is also an opportunity to have fun with your group. Get out in the good outdoors, have a laugh. Keep on track, certainly – but don’t get stubborn or get in a strop. (Not when you’re out walking.) Have a good time, and come back feeling exhausted (you will do, seeing as the trek is quite long), but the feeling in your head will be one of satisfaction and euphoria.

Some people, having read 400 words of technicalities, will refuse the DofE Award. The people that are looking for adventure, want to widen boundaries in their abilities (and their life story, to an extent) will take this on (until you reach 25, because then you’re not allowed to do it anymore). With the thought of sounding a bit like the voice-over on the National Lottery Advert, I shall leave you with the freedom to return to whatever you were doing previously before you started to read this awesome post! A bientot followers!!

B+E+two Ts= Best and biggest Technology Show in the world!

Seriously, my titles don’t lie.

The experience you get over at BETT (British Educational Technology and Training) is too much to fit into 400 words. In fact, it’s too much to fit into the 4 days BETT comes here. But I urge anybody that has an interest in computers (or uses them, so that counts as all of us), to get down there and take a look.

Don’t worry if you don’t think you look the part to be in an upmarket area in a famous event. It’s meant to be informal. You can browse around, and have a look at what the world’s leading ICT companies have come up with. Get an insight and an understanding of where technology will move in the future. It will affect every single one of us, because we are all involved in technology in one way or another.

In terms of my experiences there, I learnt a hell of a lot, and I was supposed to be the one showing people all about Google, Google Apps and how to use their Chromebooks. I’ve learnt a hell of a lot from other companies, and as a result I’ve become more interested and attached to technology, the future of it and how I can use it to help me with my learning. This concept of cloud computing is one that I feel has a lot of potential, especially in the near-future, when computers, laptops and Chromebooks alike will not be equipped with hard drives, floppy disk drives. Flash memory sticks will become in my opinion, a thing of the past.

My wider message to all the authorities out there, is to simply not worry about all the ‘side effects’, because one way or another, cloud computing is going to become the focal point of all document use and modification. The USP I think, especially in Google’s case, is collaboration. Google’s education facilities is very suitable for kids from age 5 to use. I do believe older students can use this, perhaps even a bit more extensively. I’ve shown some of the staff and pupils at my school, and they have warmed to it (and trust me, my ICT syllabus for GCSE belongs in the Dark Ages.)

NORFOLK HAVE ACCOMPLISHED THIS. EVERY PUPIL IN EVERY SCHOOL HAS A GOOGLE ACCOUNT. THE SOONER YOU GUYS CAN ACCEPT AND TRY IT OUT, THE EASIER IT WILL BE FOR YOUR SCHOOLS TO EXPERIENCE JUST HOW AMAZING THIS NEW TECHNOLOGY IS!

On that note, I’ve gone past my 400 word mark. I’ll be publishing multimedia stuff next week (once I don’t get homework for any GCSE subject.